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10/22/2018 5:58 pm  #1


How Richard Carrier and Robert M. Price prove convertibility

This post is only semi-facetious. Don't dismiss all of it as laughter.

Robert M. Price:

Atheist and Christ-myther (unable to see truth).
* Hedonist and utilitarian (unable to see goodness).
* Genuinely believes that Lovecraft is hauntingly beautiful (unable to see beauty).

Richard C. Carrier:


* Invented a piece of crank mathematics in the field of probability theory, is a crank historian and thinks that green men on other planets exist (unable to see truth).
* Believes that his sudden betrayal of his wife for twenty years was good and just (unable to see goodness).
* Thinks the random shapeless squiggles and flat-faced nonsense that makes up anime is art (unable to see beauty).
 

 

10/23/2018 4:07 am  #2


Re: How Richard Carrier and Robert M. Price prove convertibility

For obnoxious atheist Lovecraft scholars S.T. Joshi is worse than Price...

Although as with so many of the New Atheists I'm grateful to both Price and Joshi as their descent into political incorrectness has done much to explode the the Atheism = Leftism = Goodness therefore Atheism = Goodness reasoning so prevalent the 2000s. 

 

10/23/2018 12:50 pm  #3


Re: How Richard Carrier and Robert M. Price prove convertibility

The "Lovecraft is beautiful" thing is the most disturbing one on the list. Have you ever read any of his works? It's like science-fiction, except without any of the qualities that makes science-fiction redeeming.

     Thread Starter
 

10/23/2018 3:06 pm  #4


Re: How Richard Carrier and Robert M. Price prove convertibility

I actually kind of like Lovecraft. His mythos is basically the horrific personification of a nihilistic reality that ultimately just doesn't care.

I wouldn't consider it "hauntingly beautiful" by any stretch of the imagination, but metaphysical horror does have a certain allure to it.

 

10/24/2018 4:19 am  #5


Re: How Richard Carrier and Robert M. Price prove convertibility

Although as with so many of the New Atheists I'm grateful to both Price and Joshi as their descent into political incorrectness has done much to explode the the Atheism = Leftism = Goodness therefore Atheism = Goodness reasoning so prevalent the 2000s. 

​I don't know how Atheism=Leftism=Goodness survived the fall of Marxist Leninism in the 90s, besides getting a new and virulent lease of life through New Atheism.

The success of some spin campaign that the Soviets weren't really left wingers at all but were in fact 'religious' types?

Hypatia wrote:

I actually kind of like Lovecraft. His mythos is basically the horrific personification of a nihilistic reality that ultimately just doesn't care.

I wouldn't consider it "hauntingly beautiful" by any stretch of the imagination, but metaphysical horror does have a certain allure to it.

​I like Lovecraft, at his best, as well. I think one of the traits of his writing is the description of a reality that goes beyond not caring,  it is actually evil and hostile to human life. There is a study of Lovecraft's work I really liked by Michel Houellebecq: H.P. Lovecraft: Contre le Monde, Contre la Vie. (against the world, against life).  

 

10/24/2018 5:44 am  #6


Re: How Richard Carrier and Robert M. Price prove convertibility

FZM wrote:

The success of some spin campaign that the Soviets weren't really left wingers at all but were in fact 'religious' types?

Let's look at some objective criteria:

Soviet ideology promoted nationalism. Check.
Soviet ideology promoted family values. Check.
Stalin's personality cult with singing hymns and praises to his name, and referring back to him with reverence and devotion on every little local party meeting. Check.

These are conservative and religious values, are they not? Of course, everything is not so black and white all the time. There are at least three or four eras in Soviet history:

1. Lenin's era, experimental anarchism and trying to hold power in the midst of civil war.
2. Stalin's era, establishing the state on slave work, suppression of dissent, and personality cult. "Socialist Realism" was made mainstream in arts and Stalinist Classicism in architecture.
3. Brezhnev's era, abolition of cultist aspects of state ideology, toning down monumentalism in arts, reasonably well managed (compared to the other eras) economic stability/stagnation with regular near-equal salaries for everyone.
4. Gorbachev, whose attempts to reform broke everything beyond repair.

Ideally, one would identify which phase or aspect of Sovietism one is talking about. Sovietism = Bad is a bit too simplistic, as is Sovietism = Left.

 

10/24/2018 8:10 am  #7


Re: How Richard Carrier and Robert M. Price prove convertibility

seigneur wrote:

FZM wrote:

The success of some spin campaign that the Soviets weren't really left wingers at all but were in fact 'religious' types?

Let's look at some objective criteria:Soviet ideology promoted nationalism. Check.
Soviet ideology promoted family values. Check.
Stalin's personality cult with singing hymns and praises to his name, and referring back to him with reverence and devotion on every little local party meeting. Check.These are conservative and religious values, are they not? Of course, everything is not so black and white all the time.

 The Soviets didn't promote bourgeois nationalism, but the brotherhood of all socialist peoples. Soviet ideology didn't promote bourgeois family values, but socialist family values rooted in proletarian and peasant culture.​

Stalin's personality cult was partly based on the idea that he was a political genius guiding social revolution and social transformation. Part of which was major religious persecution because religious and theistic belief were considered social and moral evils.​

These things might interpreted as 'conservative' in certain senses (in the way that Fascism contains left wing and liberal values in certain respects), or 'religious', but, particularly with the latter, interpreting them like this starts to void the term of meaning. This is what New Atheists tend to do when they claim that the Soviet regime was 'religious', apparently in it's persecution and denunciation of religion and promotion of secularism.

Ideally, one would identify which phase or aspect of Sovietism one is talking about. Sovietism = Bad is a bit too simplistic, as is Sovietism = Left.


​The point was, what does the Soviet experience tell us about the idea that Atheism=Leftism=Goodness? I am married to a former Komsomol and have in-laws who were in the CPSU (and KGB) at a range of levels so I'm not going to go down the 'Sovietism=Bad' path.

 

10/24/2018 9:22 am  #8


Re: How Richard Carrier and Robert M. Price prove convertibility

FZM wrote:

 The Soviets didn't promote bourgeois nationalism, but the brotherhood of all socialist peoples.

Since most countries were bourgeois, there was not much socialist brotherhood to be had. They were left with plain old nationalism. Moreover, socialist countries did not tend to naturally attract each other. For example, Mao and Stalin did not create a brotherly unified proletarian country. Instead, like any two dictators who happen to live next to each other, they fortified their shared borders. Straightforward nationalism all the way. (Looking at the actions, not the words. Never trust a politician's word, even when his ideology may seem coherent or sympathetic.)

FZM wrote:

Soviet ideology didn't promote bourgeois family values, but socialist family values rooted in proletarian and peasant culture.​

And those proletarian and peasant families were exact same as bourgeois families - mother, father, children, get an education and go to work to earn your living, get married and make babies like your own parents did, etc. Can you point out any difference at all?

FZM wrote:

Stalin's personality cult was partly based on the idea that he was a political genius guiding social revolution and social transformation. Part of which was major religious persecution because religious and theistic belief were considered social and moral evils.​

It's a common mistake to think that, since Stalin destroyed churches and persecuted the clergy, his personality cult was not religious. Each and every established religion in history aimed to root out other religions and kill off heretics. The anti-clergy persecution confirms that Stalin's personality cult was religious. And all the specifics are there, he was to be called "the father of nations", "the sun and life", etc. like any old Roman emperor.

You know that Roman emperors were deified and worshipped, right? The fact that, prior to Constantine, the emperors were anti-Christian, does not make their cult un-religious or anti-religious. It just makes it anti-Christian.

 

10/24/2018 9:27 am  #9


Re: How Richard Carrier and Robert M. Price prove convertibility

FZM wrote:

​The point was, what does the Soviet experience tell us about the idea that Atheism=Leftism=Goodness?

In the framework of modern Western discourse, nothing about Soviet experience tells anything about Atheism=Leftism=Goodness. Atheism=Leftism=Goodness is a myth, both when rightists propose it and when leftists do.

Besides, who of New Atheists is/was a leftist in the first place?

 

10/24/2018 10:11 am  #10


Re: How Richard Carrier and Robert M. Price prove convertibility

seigneur wrote:

It's a common mistake to think that, since Stalin destroyed churches and persecuted the clergy, his personality cult was not religious. Each and every established religion in history aimed to root out other religions and kill off heretics. The anti-clergy persecution confirms that Stalin's personality cult was religious. And all the specifics are there, he was to be called "the father of nations", "the sun and life", etc. like any old Roman emperor.

You know that Roman emperors were deified and worshipped, right? The fact that, prior to Constantine, the emperors were anti-Christian, does not make their cult un-religious or anti-religious. It just makes it anti-Christian.

​The Roman emperors were not ruling in the name of an ideology that asserted that natural science had proved that God and the supernatural does not exist and that religion was a social and moral evil that is going to disappear from society.

​To make Stalinism religious religion has to be defined in some general sociological or psychological terms of whatever beliefs/personalities etc. a group of people hold sacred or treat with reverence (regardless of their views on the supernatural, value or otherwise of religion). In this light the New Atheist movement , as well as many strong secularist groups, can also be seen as religious and, in promoting their ideas, as engaging in religious activity.

​If they themselves held to this definition it would have put their movement into question from the start.  
 

 

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